Fonds P0280 - François-Marc Gagnon fonds

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François-Marc Gagnon fonds

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  • Textual record
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  • 1946-2019 (Creation)
    Gagnon, François-Marc

Physical description area

Physical description

14.5 m of textual records (approx. 48 boxes)
117 optical discs : CD and DVD
17 videocassette : VHS
6 microfilm reels
2 compact cassettes
2 3.5-inch floppy disks
1 external drive (USB)

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Name of creator

(June 18, 1935 - March 28, 2019)

Biographical history

François-Marc Gagnon was an affiliate professor on the Department of Art History. Son of famous art critic Maurice Gagnon, he was born in Paris but eventually moved to Montreal with his family. He studied theology with the Dominicans in Ottawa from 1956 to 1962 but Gagnon would go back to France in 1968 to do his doctorate on Jean Dubuffet at Paris Sorbonne. Gagnon had been hired by the Département de l’histoire de l’art of Université de Montréal in 1966 and he would teach there until retiring and getting a professor emeritus honour in 2000. He would however quickly get back to work, founding the Gail and Stephen A. Jarislowsky Institute for Studies in Canadian Art at Concordia University in 2001, after a substantial gift was made by the financial analyst and art collector. Gagnon is well known for his presence at Télé-Université and Canal Savoir but also for the many conferences, books and exhibition catalogues, scholarly articles he took part in. He passed away on March 28, 2019.

  • Gagnon’s first publication was his doctorate thesis, Jean Dubuffet, aux sources de la figuration humaines, published by the Presses de l’université de Montréal in 1970.
  • His 1975 book La Conversion par l’image, Un aspect de la mission des Jésuites auprès des Indiens du Canada au XVIIe siècle won the Prix Saint-Marie en Histoire, given by the Government of Ontario.
  • Gagnon was the recipient of the Governor-General’s Award for his book on Paul-Émile Borduas in 1978.
  • In 1987, Gagnon became a member of the Royal Society of Canada.
  • Gagnon received an honorary degree from Concordia University, in June 1992.
  • Gagnon was named to the Order of Canada in 1999.
  • On March 6 2001, The new Gail and Stephen A. Jarislowsky Institute for Studies in Canadian Art welcomed Gagnon as his first Chair. Gagnon gave a lecture on Cornelius Krieghoff for the occasion, at the Faculty Club.
  • Gagnon was honoured by the Association francophone pour le savoir (ACFAS) with the 2007 Prix André-Laurendeau, in recognition for his exceptional contributions made to research.
  • Gagnon was awarded the 2010 Prix Gérard-Morisset as part of the Prix du Québec for his significant contribution to the preservation of the province's cultural heritage.
  • The Codex Canadensis and the Writings of Louis Nicolas book has won its Concordia editor the 2013 Canada Prize in Humanities, given by the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  • In 2015, Gagnon was inducted into the Order of Quebec.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The fonds is organized in 2 series: VIE PERSONNELLE and VIE PROFESSIONNELLE. The VIE PERSONNELLE series is comprised of records related to François-Marc Gagnon’s education at Collège Stanislas, Université de Paris, Université d’Ottawa and the Grand séminaire d’Ottawa. It also includes personal correspondence, photos and slides of his travels and his family and friends, journals and agendas and some drawings.

The VIE PROFESSIONNELLE series is comprised of 6 sub-series: the CONFÉRENCES, COLLOQUES ET EXPOSITIONS sub-series is comprised of records related to the many presentations and lectures Gagnon gave during his career in France, Israel and in the United States but mostly in Canada, on subjects as varied as modern American art, impressionist paintings, Mayan and archaic American art, visual perception, archeology, anthropology and philosophy but mostly Paul-Émile Borduas and the Refus global artists, the automatists, ancient art in Quebec and the representation of first nations in Canadian art.

The ENSEIGNEMENT sub-series includes course outlines and teaching material related to Gagnon’s teaching positions at Université de Montréal (1967-2000), McGill University (1999) and Concordia University (2000-2019). The ÉCRITS sub-series contains records related to the books Gagnon wrote or took part in as well as articles he wrote for Larousse, Muse, RACAR, Recherches amérindiennes du Québec, Espace and Études françaises to name a few. The DISTINCTIONS sub-series contains records related to the many prizes and awards Gagnon received: an honorary degree from Concordia University, the Prix d’excellence en enseignement and Professeur émérite of Université de Montréal, Prix Gérard-Morisset, Prix d’histoire du Gouverneur general and Officier de l’Ordre national du Québec among others. The CORRESPONDANCE sub-series testifies of the professional relations of Gagnon with different museums, cultural centres and institutions.

Finally, the RECHERCHE ET MATÉRIEL DE RÉFÉRENCE sub-series is comprised of photocopies of articles and books chapters, reading fiches and notes on different subjects related to Gagnon’s fields of expertise: iconography of first peoples, Mayan art and history, modern art and artists Paul-Émile Borduas, Ozias Leduc, Fernand Léger and Jacques Hurtubise to only name a few. The subseries also includes scrapbooks containing extensive correspondence on or about Jean Dubuffet.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

The material was donated to Records Management and Archives by Gagnon's widow in the winter of 2022.


Digital records from optical media have been extracted, arranged and preserved in two Archival Information Packages (AIPs).

Language of material

  • English
  • French
  • Hebrew

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    Restrictions on access

    The VIE PERSONNELLE series is restricted until 2062.

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    Box listings are available.


    Processing Information note

    Processing still in progress, digital to be assessed.

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